Creating an Inclusive Work Environment
Being an adult, most everyone strives to land their dream job. But this is easier said than done. This is tangential with our innate desire to be included and/or lead a happy life. According to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), persons with disabilities are legally allowed to work and employers cannot discriminate based on ability level or a disability at any point during both the hiring process and during the disabled individual’s employment with the company. So how does an employer make an inclusive work environment? Let’s take a look:
- Website accessibility – According to Web Accessibility Standards 508, all federal agencies, as well as any organization that receives federal funding, are required to have their websites be accessible to individuals with disabilities. This is not restricted to federal websites, though; many companies are opting for 508 compliance in order to accommodate disabilities and allow all internet users to navigate their sites and even apply online.
- Office accessibility – Moving past the online application process we explored above, how accessible is the office space or other location where you are to conduct interviews? An accessible place of employment should have handicap parking, a ramp to the entrance and, to tie it all together, doors that open by either a motion/pressure sensor or by the press of a button.
- Accessible onboarding process – Once the candidate has been formally hired comes the onboarding process. This is an exploration into and an explanation of many areas concerning an employee’s time with the company, including benefits, going over company policies, and submitting emergency contact info. It may also entail a tour of the office space. Be sure to introduce the new hire to either the Human Resources Officer or another person who can more intimately make accommodations for the person’s disability, if required.
Many companies are keeping up with the times in terms of accommodating disabilities as well as becoming 508 compliant on their websites. This is just one facet in an emerging movement called Inclusion Revolution, which aims to create inclusive and accessible environments for all people, not just in the workplace, but in all areas of one’s daily life. At ILCNSCA, we aim to empower individuals with disabilities and give them back their freedom and autonomy so they can live their best lives.
Categorized in: Advocacy
This post was written by Sperling